UK car matriculation nightmare

Dear Editor, On Monday, I went to the Customs office in Faro to ask about getting my UK car matriculated. 

I am afraid that my experience was not as straight forward, as I had hoped. 

The person on reception did not speak any English and she said nobody in the office could speak English either!

Therefore she was not very helpful. Is it true that nobody in Faro Customs speaks English? I cannot believe that!

Surely people with a job as important as Customs will have had to have had a good enough education to include English, or am I being naive?

She did give me a list of the documents that are required, but it was not clear what was essential and what was not. Therefore I still do not know exactly what I need to do. 

I have started going through the list with the assistance of Google Translate and advice from my Portuguese language teacher. 

One major disappointment was that she did inform me (and my Portuguese teacher, who I called while I was there) that my 12 months of pension pay slips addressed to my UK address are not sufficient proof that I lived there. Basically, I felt as though I was being called a liar. 

It seems as though the Customs people deliberately put obstacles in the way of UK nationals to stop them importing their cars. 

I can understand why so many British Nationals tell me that have not bothered with the matriculation process and say they are prepared to carry on breaking the law. I wanted to do the right thing, but I am now very discouraged with the attitude of the Customs officer.

I will be going to the Customs office again in early July to try to get my car matriculated, once I have completed the rest of the processes and gathered the necessary forms and completed the car inspection etc.

 It would be good to think that I might be able to speak to someone who can speak English then? 

I have emailed them to see if I could I make an appointment to meet someone who can speak English. 

I would appreciate it if any of your readers have any further suggestions.

Name and address supplied

Editor’s note: Dear reader, thank you for sharing this experience with us. I would like to invite other readers to write in with their views and suggestions.